Credit Card on File

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tiedeman, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    How many of you ask for a credit card on file for late fee purposes or just for security reasons? And then have the customers sign something that says if payment is late, or can not be made it will be charged to the credit card?

    Any thoughts???
     
  2. ken50

    ken50 LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Posts: 142

    I think it's a great idea, but I just don't think most people will be comfortable giving their credit card number to "some guy with a trailer full of mowers..", but maybe that's just me. Most of my customers are seniors, and they are very skeptical...might be different with younger people in metropolitan areas....?
     
  3. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    "T" I think you should read DFW's post about Residential Customer's, the credit card thing started a big huff, some people think it's a crazy idea, I personally think more power to you. If you can get a credit card number...great:D
     
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    well, I have learned my lesson with the whole $400 thing, so I want to add a little more security to myself
     
  5. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    A man has to do what a man has to do.........
     
  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    What happens when the credit card doesn't go through? How much security do you have now?
     
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    that is so funny you said that, because I was just thinking the same thing.

    Ok, what about if the customers put down a deposit then?
     
  8. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Man, every situation is always so different. New customers, that are also unfamiliar with your company, are the hardest to handle. They don't know you, and you don't know them. Who trusts who? I usually just go with a mutual trust and hope they don't stiff me, and they hope we do good work. With referrals and such, it would be easier to demand money up front. You have come to them with praise and have some kind of leverage to use for getting money in advance. Saying that's just policy and shouldn't be too tough to enforce.
    We've really been fortunate in four years of business, been stiffed twice for a total tune of $220. Of course I just sealed my fate by saying that. We've chosen an industry to make a living in that may not be the same as some of the others. Maybe a little tough to demand respect at times until you have worked for it, even then there is no guarantee.
     
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    If I were a customer, I'd have no problem with giving you a credit card number to hold onto.

    I wouldn't give you the RIGHT number, but I'd give you a number.
     
  10. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 811

    Qualify and Certify. Any good salesmen will at least ask you where you work. Then as you walk and talk and toss around a lot a crap, he will figure out if you can really pay for it. At some point he does a credit check to get a hard copy for the file. You and me, we have a hard time with this process. Money and time, and most of our customers know it, and the ones that don't, couldn't care less because they will pay on time. Our problem is to figure out who will pay and who will screw you. If your talking to a man whose SUV is getting hooked up to a repo truck and 6 kids running in the yard with no shoes and broken windows in the house, you'll get screwed. This business is not rocket science. We are at the bottom of the food chain of bill paying. Every check that comes in is a plus and I thank God for each one. Every time a check doesn't come in, I cry like a baby. We knew this was going to happen before we started our business, Didn't we Tiedeman? There is no "easy way" to secure your payments from customers, so stop looking for it. So while your bouncing around the yard on your mower, think about this. You'll know how wide to ..... .. ...... by how much money this customer owes you.
     

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